Gamasutra: Five million. That's the number of traditional consoles and handhelds that were sold in the U.S. during December 2012, based on the latest retail estimates released by the NPD Group, a sales tracking firm. I have accumulated reports of their estimates running back through 2000, and this is the first time in those 13 years that December hardware sales were so weak.
If you accept the idea that the hardware sales of the present are a harbinger of software sales in the future, these figures are surely an ominous sign. But measurements of software sales have become a much thornier problem, and I'm devoting an entire column to them later this week.